From its trees and big cities to northern lights and wildlife, The Great North has some of the globe’s most incredible sights – but few are as impressive as what you’ll see at Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park in Saskatchewan.

Even if you’ve travelled around the country and back again, it’s safe to assume you wouldn’t expect to see a Sahara-like dessert in the prairies – but it’s real and an absolute must-visit next time you’re in the area.

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Spanning approximately 100 kilometres along the south shore of its namesake lake, the Athabasca Dunes are the largest active sand surface in all of Canada and (according to the University of Regina’s Encylopedia of Saskatchewan) the most northerly active dunes in the entire world.

Here, you’ll see mounds nearly 30 metres high and extremely rare plants only found in the area due to its unique ecosystem so you’ll have to be respectful!

 

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“Scientists consider the dunes an evolutionary puzzle,” explains Tourism Saskatchewan.

“In order to protect the fragile environment, the park has been divided into three management zones. Each has different guidelines to govern camping and visitor activities. Guidelines may change as required and are available by contacting the park office. Collecting plants, trees, ventifacts and artifacts within the park is prohibited.”

If, of course, you’re still interested in checking it out. the park is accessible by float plane and is recommended for experienced wilderness visitors as there are no onsite locations within the park.

Not well-versed in adventuring? Don’t fret, because guided tours are available in the area – but either way, it’ll be important to come well prepared and ready to walk.

Check it out, be smart, stay safe and enjoy! You’re in for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

ATHABASCA SAND DUNES PROVINCIAL PARK

Where: Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park, Saskatchewan